Whole Wheat Bread – We Knead to Bake

wholewheatbread2

In the past, my breads were more of door stoppers than of anything else. Many a tooth have been lost to the cause of my bread. Many a friend used to avoid my home when I start bread baking.

Now, I won’t say it’s that bad anymore. The breads I make now are definitely edible.

And our teeth are just fine.

bread-004

So when Aparna mentioned making a 100% whole wheat bread as October’s bread (for We Knead to Bake group), my heart rate and BP went up.

And the bad bread dreams started coming back. The worst ones were always the whole wheat kind!

Yet I went ahead and tried my luck. And it turns out that I was indeed lucky. In my excitement, I didn’t notice that it was a tad under-baked, but yet it was fine.

This bread is not as light and fluffy as the ones in the supermarket. It was much denser, but it got over by the end of the day. So I guess it’s fine.

I will be trying this recipe again with a portion replaced by plain flour.

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Recipe Source: My Diverse Kitchen, who adapted it from Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads

Ingredients:

Soaker:

  • Whole wheat Flour        :    1 3/4 cup
  • Salt                                       :     1/2 tsp
  • Vinegar                              :     1 tbsp
  • Water                                 :      3/4 cup to 1 cup

Sponge:

  • Whole wheat Flour        :    1 3/4 cup
  • Yeast (instant)                 :     1/4 tsp
  • Vinegar                               :     1 tbsp
  • Milk                                      :      3/4 cup to 1 cup
For the final dough:
  • The prepared Soaker
  • The prepared sponge
  • Vital wheat gluten (optional)         :    1.5 tsp
  • Salt                                                            :    1/2 tsp
  • Instant yeast                                         :    2 tsp
  • Oil or melted butter                           :  1/8 cup
  • Honey                                                      :   2tbsp
  • Whole wheat flour                             :    1/3 cup

Method:

A day before:

  1. Make the soaker and the sponge. For the soaker, mix all the ingredients together and add water slowly till the flour is hydrated. You might need to adjust the water quantity a bit to get this. (A bit more, if the flour is dry, a bit less if its already wet). The dough will be a little bit sticky, but not overly sticky. Cover loosely with cling wrap or any fitting lid. Leave on the counter top at room temperature for 12 hours or upto 24 hours maximum.
  2. For the sponge, mix everything (if you are using active dry yeast, you need to ‘proof’ it first in warm milk). You need to adjust the milk quantity to get a not too sticky dough. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours at least. I left it over night.

The next day:

  1. The next morning, take the sponge from the fridge and let it sit/rise for 2 hours at room temperature.
  2. Cut the sponge and the soaker into small pieces and add it to the food processor bowl (can knead by hand as well). Add the vital wheat gluten, honey, oil/butter, salt and instant yeast. Knead for a couple of minutes and then let the dough rest for 5 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add the remaining 1/3 cup flour (in steps) until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Donot add too much of flour at this stage.
  3. Rest the dough in a well oiled bowl for about 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size. Once its doubled, take it out and in a lightly floured surface, shape it into a rectangle with the width a bit less than the loaf pan’s length. Roll the dough and keep inside the (greased and floured) loaf pan. Let the dough rise a bit higher than the pan.
  4. Preheat an oven to 180C and bake for 40-45 minutes until the top is golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when you tap it in the bottom. I brushed it with butter once I took it out of the pan.
  5. Let the bread cool for at least two hours before slicing it.

wholewheatbread4

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2 thoughts on “Whole Wheat Bread – We Knead to Bake

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